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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Berea Tim Hortons plans placed on indefinite hold

Grand opening planned in 2022 never came to fruition.
Jason Heisler
The Planning Commission originally approved plans for Tim Hortons in May 2022, shortly after Burger King vacated the property on Front Street between Rocky River Drive and Bagley Road.

Plans for a new Tim Hortons restaurant at 799 Front St. have been placed “on indefinite hold,” said Mike McCourt, Berea’s building official and zoning administrator. 

The fast-food coffee shop was set to be built on the site of a former Burger King location, which closed in recent years. 

“The developer advised the city that the Tim Hortons project has been placed on indefinite hold,” McCourt said. 

The Planning Commission originally approved plans for the restaurant in May 2022, shortly after Burger King vacated the property on Front Street between Rocky River Dr. and Bagley Rd. 

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“After a city-required 20-day waiting period, construction of the 1,600-square-foot Tim Hortons structure could begin 90 days thereafter,” read the original article announcing the plans in April of 2022. 

A possible grand opening was anticipated by the end of 2022 but construction never commenced. 

“It’s a very unique and difficult site because of the angle of the roads,” said agent Mark Zelnik of Zelnik Consulting at the May meeting. “We will try to be respectful with using less of the site and less impervious surface, and adding a little more green space.” 

Over half a year later, the site remains untouched. McCourt said that inflation and labor shortages are factors that likely caused developers to halt plans nationwide. 

“The recent rate of inflation and labor shortages have caused developers, not just in Berea, but across the nation to reconsider projects,” McCourt said. 

With no movement on the site since May, the property owner, Burger King Corporation, could opt to sell the vacant land. But McCourt said he believes they will more likely seek a new franchisee under parent company Restaurant Brands International, which owns the Burger King, Tim Hortons, Popeyes and Firehouse Subs brands. 

The news disappointed some Baldwin Wallace University students who were eager for a new coffee shop nearby. 

“It’s kind of sad because where I live in Parma, there’s not really a Tim Hortons around,” said junior student Liz Tellado. “It would have been nice to have something close to campus and work.” 

Senior student Paige Ackerman also said that the students would benefit from additional study off-campus locations. 

“As a senior, I was really looking forward to having that location as a place to study with some coffee, ” Ackerman said. 

Ward 1 Berea Councilman Leon Dozier Sr. said he had no specific ideas for replacing the stalled Tim Hortons plans but would “look into the impact this may have” on the surrounding area. 

“Burger King was there and left; we had no control over their decision,” Dozier said. 

Ultimately, the hold-up shows that unexpected delays and closures are still an unfortunate reality locally, even amid Berea’s continued development. Yet, officials remain committed to working with partners like Restaurant Brands International to encourage business growth when possible. 


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